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Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS Ken McMahon, Nov 2011
 
 

Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS vs ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS vs ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS Noise

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  Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS results
1 ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS Resolution
2 ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS Noise
3 ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS, the Canon ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS, and the Canon ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS within a few moments of each other at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

All three cameras were set to Program auto exposure mode and the lenses were set to the same field of view. The ISO sensitivity was set manually.


The above shot was taken with the the Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS in Program auto mode. The lens was set to its widest angle 5mm (28mm equivalent) focal length, the sensitivity was set to 100 ISO and the exposure was one second at f3.4. The crops are taken from the area marked with the red square and presented below at 100%.

One of the downsides to having a 12x optical zoom is a smaller maximum aperture. The maximum shutter speed in Program mode on all the ELPH / IXUS models is one second and at the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS' maximum aperture of f3.4 the 100 iso crop is slightly underexposed. This crop isn't completely noise free, but there's good detail in both the column on the left and the wood panelling on the right. There is an overall graininess which you can see most clearly in the wood panelling, but it's not unpleasant in quality and preferable to the smoothness that would almost certainly result from trying to process it out.

At 200 ISO the noise takes on a slightly more granular texture, but you can see almost as much detail in this crop as the previous one. The quality drop from 100 to 200 ISO is fairly marginal and certainly worth the extra stop of exposure it provides. Moving to 400 ISO its a similar story - a slight increase in the noise and another slight loss of detail as a result. The same thing happens at 800 ISO and although the cumulative result is a crop with considerably more noise than at 100 ISO, I'd feel comfortable about using any of these sensitivity settings for photos that were going to be viewed on screen. If I was making full sized prints I might be a bit more circumspect but, even then, the noise at 800 ISO, while abundant, isn't particularly offensive.

From 1600 ISO on, as you'd expect, the noise gains the upper hand, obscuring ever coarser detail, but it's good to have a 3200 ISO option for those shots that you've absolutlely got to have, regardless of the quality.

Not surprisingly, given that they share the same sensor, the crops from the ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS and the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS bear more than a passing resemblance to those from the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS. They're not identical, but in the context of quality - how much noise is present at each ISO sensitivity setting and how much image detail suffers as a result - there's little if anything to choose between them. The most significant difference is that at its maximum aperture of f3.4 the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS has underexposed the 100 ISO shot.

All three models offer Handheld Night Scene mode which takes a sequence of shots in low light and produces a single composite image. The ISO is set automatically in this scene mode so it's difficult to make comparisons, but the results are a definite improvement on what you'd get from a single high ISO shot under the same conditions. One disadvange of Handheld NightScene on the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS is that the touch autofocus is disabled.

All three models offer a 3 Megapixel low light mode. As you can see from the crops, as well as higher resolution it provides much better detail with significantly less noise. They also offer a Best Image Selection mode which shoots five shots and chooses the best one.

Now head over to our Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.


ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS
 
ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS
 
ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS
100 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
Hand-held Night Scene 1600 ISO
Hand-held Night Scene 1600 ISO
Hand-held Night Scene 1250 ISO
Low Light 2500 ISO
Low Light 2000 ISO
Low Light 2000 ISO
Best Image Selection 2500 ISO
Best Image Selection 2000 ISO
Best Image Selection 2000 ISO

Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise



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